WASHINGTON, D.C., USA - OCTOBER 31, 2020: American flags flown by the Washington Monument. On Election Day, November 3, the country is to elect a president and vice president, 35 Senators, all 435 members of the House of Representatives, 13 governors of 11 states and two US territories, as well as state and local government officials. Incumbent Republican President Donald Trump and Democratic Party nominee Joe Biden are running for president. Yegor Aleyev/TASS.No use Russia.

January 13, 2021

Why America remains exceptional

Originally published in The Hill

America remains exceptional, despite the horrific events of last week. America has been a federal republic in its current form for more than 230 years. During that time, we have faced at least two insurgencies, namely the Whiskey Rebellion and the Civil War, which were put down. We have had coup attempts, going back to the Newburgh Conspiracy, that have all failed. We have had presidents assassinated and contested elections.

But we have never had a president, vice president, Congress, or any other ruler brought into office other than in accord with the provisions of the Constitution and the law of the land. We have never had a dictatorship, military or otherwise. We have never had to change our Constitution or our laws other than by the normal and peaceful processes outlined therein.

No great power can match that record except for Britain, whose last successful revolution was in the 17th century. Some smaller states have been similarly stable for a long time, but even Switzerland was politically reshuffled by Napoleon Bonaparte at the start of the 19th century. France, Germany, Russia, Spain, and, for that matter, Japan, China, and Iran, have all suffered coups, revolutions, dictatorships, and collapses of government orders within the last 100 years, with some of them much more recently than that.

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